Check in with your returning children

Mental health issues for young people around the world may have doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to the journal “Jama pediatrics.”

Researchers surveyed more than 80,000 children and found that one in four exhibited symptoms of depression and one in five were experiencing anxiety.

The numbers could continue an upward trend as the pandemic goes on due to ongoing social isolation, family financial difficulties, and missed milestones, researchers suggest.

If your kids are experiencing these kinds of mental and emotional stresses, here’s what you can do to help:

Share information

Make sure your kids better understand what may come with heading back to the classroom for the new school year. Be proactive about learning what steps you can take to help reduce the amount of stress in their lives. Also, help provide a strong support system for getting through possible challenges they could face.

Help them feel secure

Going back to school can be daunting, so be sure to reassure them that they are safe.

It’s helpful for parents and loved ones to validate their feelings. Emphasize that it’s ok to feel upset, scared, and anxious. You could also share how you manage your feelings to help them learn from you.

Listen and watch

Make sure your kids know you are there to listen and it’s safe to share how they’re feeling.

When talking to your kids, pay attention to more than just their words. Be aware of children’s moods and uncharacteristic changes in behavior so you know when it’s time to seek expert support.

Define boundaries

It’s could be helpful to create regular routines. Prioritizing a regular routine helps kids better manage their emotional well-being.

For example, sign them up for after-school activities, sports, or hobbies.

Take action

Make sure to discuss your concerns with your pediatrician or family physician as soon as possible. Your doctor may recommend a plan of action or even a counselor to help find ways to reduce any unhealthy stress and improve your child’s overall health.

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